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Old 12-22-2011, 06:32 AM   #1
MerMom60_94
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Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Job Search

Hi everyone. I could use a little help / support / information right now. My head is spinning at this point! Back around the end of September my company eliminated 9% of it's workforce, including me. I have been searching for a job and finally got a few interviews. Things were looking up and.........BAM!! The night before last I got the call that I have breast cancer. Yesterday morning I went for a second interview and sense I may get offered the position. The company is a wonderful company and I really want the job. I met with an oncology surgeon in the afternoon and was told she wants me to go for an MRI because, even though my biopsy showed non-invasive breast cancer, she thinks the fact we can feel a lump makes it likely that the cancer is invasive. Further, since my mother and sister have had breast cancer she wants me to have the BRAC test. If the BRAC test comes back positive, she is recommending a double mascectomy and that I have my ovaries removed. So, bottom-line, at the least I am looking at a lumpectomy and 6 weeks of radiation every day. Worse case, I have a double mascectomy and removal of my ovaries.

-How do I handle this if I get a job offer? The easy answer is stay on unemployment but unemployment requires that you be available for work and you aren't allowed to turn down a job if it is offered. Plus, I really liked this company a lot. They were so incredibly nice and people looked genuinely happy.

-I would love to hear from people who took the BRAC test and faced the same decision about their options (lumpectomy with radiation, double mascectomy with implants, or double mascectomy with rebuilding with tissue from my abdomen).

I had hoped to wait until after Christmas to tell my family but will have to tell my mother today, and call my sister to get her history so I can fill out the paperwork for the BRAC test. I have a 17 year old daughter. I will not tell her until next week.

Thank you to everyone who responds for helping me through this.
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Old 12-22-2011, 06:54 PM   #2
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I am so sorry reading all of this. That is certainly a roller coaster.

The laws are so different with our 2 countries, that I certainly don't want to give any advice, for fear it is the wrong. Hoping someone who has knowledge will chime in.

My thoughts and prayers are with you
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
MerMom60_94
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Thank you, Mommasita. I am in a better place tonight with this than I was this morning. I feel like my emotions are settling down and I am able to start thinking logically again. Regarding the job situation, I figure if I get an offer I will explain that I know I have to have some surgery but am waiting for some test results before I know the extent of surgery or have a date and ask if they can be patient with me. I have to look for a job and accept a job according to the Department of Unemployment. If I am open about my situation and a company chooses not to employ me, I have still done my part in my job search. It just may make me harder to place. Don't get me wrong, I want to work and I particularly want the job I interviewed for yesterday. I am not trying to make myself less appealing, but I do feel an obligation to be honest about my situation.

On the CB, I have gotten some advice and some helpful links to help me educate myself so I will be prepared when it is time to make a decision on my treatment plan. I spoke to both my mother and my sister who is a survivor today and told them what is going on. It was helpful talking to them and they helped me put together my family history so I can get my BRAC test. I will go to that appointment tomorrow. I think once I get this out in the open after Christmas, I will be able to cope better as well. I am usually very open with my daughter and we don't typically keep secrets from her so that is adding to my stress. I don't want to ruin her Christmas, though, and it is only a few more days.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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That sounds (in my opinion) the right way to go about the job search. Honest and up front.

I will be thinking about you and your appointment, and happy to hear you have a great family in your corner. It most certainly does help.

I did not have cancer, but a couple of brain surgeries in the past two years, and held a lot back from my children prior to the last one. We had an open family discussion where we all could talk and ask questions.

Please feel free to post anytime about anything you would like. This board has some amazingly compassionate people.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:10 AM   #5
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So sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. Please understand that the vast majority of women with a new breast cancer diagnosis will go on to do very well and will not have their life expectancy affected by the diagnosis. I have had a couple of patients in exactly your situation (with the possible new job and newly diagnosed). I would like to comment regarding treatment etc but so much of that depends on details about the tumor as well as patient factors (age, family history, etc). Feel free to PM me regarding your situation if you are ok giving more details and I can help advise.
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:07 PM   #6
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I am dealing with a cancer, but do not have advice for you regarding the employment situation. I am going to suggest that you post on inspire.com. It is an excellent and active cancer forum.

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